I’m one of the few regular posters to the threads that regularly talks about indy books, but, I have to say, even the most popular indies, rather by definition, don’t sell as much as the big companies.
Add in the fact that there’s more of a tendency toward limited series, widely-spaced publication periods, and indy companies just going under more often…there’s not always something to talk about.
I still make it a point to talk about Hack/Slash every month, and Steve Niles’ Strange Cases when it comes out, or any other good indy book that I pick up (Transhuman is looking good), because I want other people to know about them and buy them.
And, as primarily a DC reader, who’s never liked Marvel outside of the mutant titles (recently expanded to include Power Pack and Spider Girl, both of which I make a point of mentioning when they come out, too), I find there’s more Marvel discussion than I care for some weeks, just as there’s more DC discussion than a Marvel reader would care for, other weeks. The end of OMD and Secret Invasion 1 dominated their weeks’ threads with complaints and speculation, respectively. Wasn’t terribly interesting to me, but, hey, for the people who do read those titles? Those were big issues.
My first impulse is just to say that it’s just chance that this place is tilted towards DC, and we chased off the Marvel Zombies once we reached critical mass (btw, please post anyway, I lean DC, but I’m always looking for new good stuff to read, I recently picked up Herc on online recommendations, and it’s a hoot), but I’ve seen it happen elsewhere.
Perhaps Kalibakthegreat is right, and DC does better with hardcore fans that want to talk about comics on the Internet. That doesn’t seem likely to me though, because Marvel sells better than DC, and is just as full of longterm events and crossovers. Yeah, Civil War and One More Day/Brand New Day pissed off a lot of folks, but Countdown and Infinite Crisis had their detractors too.
I think it may just be something about the demographics of general interest boards like this one and others I post on.
Lots of people don’t even watch their movies (e.g., Man-Thing, really?), but the movies still make more money than the comics, so they need to pursue that use of their IP.
As the only Marvel comic I read now is Young Avengers (when something YA rarely comes out), or Astonishing X-Men (even rarer, nowadays), I don’t mention Marvel stuff because, how could I?
I used to read lots of Marvel X-stuff, and no DC at all. And then Marvel brought Clairemont back, and Chuck Austen, and hurridly undid all the interesting stuff Morrison brought in to the X-mythos. Whereas DC had great stuff going on in JSA and the Flash. And continues to do good with stuff like 52 and the Sinestro Corps War, despite the wretched Countdown.
Man, I never thought I’d be eagerly reading Green Lantern, of all titles. But so it goes. I just hope now that DC can step up a bit on its movies, too.
Obviously “fun” is going to be different for every person so your mileage may vary. When I talk about “fun” in a superhero book I’m referring to a certain style that is prevalent through the book. Perhaps I should say what I find is and is not fun:
Giant action spectacles with no serious consequences? Fun.
Action sequences with lots of “realistically” portrayed mayhem? Not fun. (“Realistically” in quotes since it rarely has even a passing acquaintance with realism.)
Characters who enjoy what they’re doing and let it show? Fun.
Characters who continue doing things out of some kind of obligation (either in story or our just that the writer keeps them around) but whine about it a lot? Not fun.
Writing that doesn’t really try to tell a deep story and just runs with an over the top premise? Fun.
Writing that comes across as the scribbled notebook of a first year philosophy student? Not fun.
Artists who render things in their own impressionistic style and can transition from panel to panel? Fun.
Artists who trace actors and models to make big splash pages that don’t really tell a story? Not fun.
My problem with Marvel - and I’ve written things that would qualify as short essays on the subject - but in a nutshell, Marvel’s pretense of “realism” basically underscores the surreality of comic books, while DC’s embrace of the fantastic elements allows them to create a place that might less resemble our own world, but hangs together better in terms of feel. Marvel’s heroes have horrible put-upon lives, and the reader is supposed to sympathize with them. DC’s heroes fight crime, and are generally to be admired. While both companies are riding a grim and gritty trend, it comes off as less soul-crushing with DC, because the characters are more iconic and the tone more escapist.
DC’s also got better, more interesting villains. Batman’s Rogues’ Gallery has more interesting villains than the entire Marvel Universe.
Superman fights Lex Luthor. Captain America, apparently, fights Iron Man.
Thanks for the replies, guys. Interesting and illuminating. It’s interesting that most of the things you view in a derogatory light are actually elements that I seek out and would speak about in complimentary terms.
It’s a good thing that there are various approaches to the medium so that all readers can get what they’re looking for, because clearly there’s a pretty even market for both.
Brad, as I think I mentioned before not being fun is fine when you’re good. To pick the obvious example I would never characterize Watchmen as “fun” but it is obviously good (let’s ignore the dissenting opinions for the sake of my point for now).
Gamera covered what I went into in a scrapped reply (and better than I was going to so I was right to scrap it) - Superheroes are not just fantasy but on the far end of the fantasy spectrum with things like RPG fiction. Things occur and exist in superhero books because they’re part of the genre and not for any logical reason. Readers accept those things because they’re part of the genre they’re familiar with. The underpinnings of the genre do not stand to close examination.
Good creators (both writers and artists) know this and take advantage of it. Not so good creators don’t realize this and try to tell stories that superheroes are not fertile ground for and typically do so in a fashion that is not fun since they’re telling a “serious” story.
I don’t know about most people, but I frankly can’t stand any of the DC characters. They’re gratingly un-human IMHO. True, as someone said, Marvel’s heroes tend to whine too much, but at least they seem more like real people.